Nepal yesterday revoked the visa of a Canadian who has worked in the country for four years, saying he violated the terms of his stay by posting comments on social media that could “incite conflict”.
The head of the immigration department said Robert Penner, a 37-year-old software developer, had two days to leave the country.
Penner tweets frequently on social and political matters and had spoken out on a number of controversial issues, including a new national constitution that sparked deadly protests.
“His working visa has been cancelled and he will return to his home country within two days,” Kedar Neupane, chief of the immigration department, said.
“He was found to have violated the terms of his visa, commenting on internal matters of the country, inciting conflict and disturbing social harmony.”
Penner’s legal representative Raksha Ram Harijan said his client had broken no laws and would appeal against the decision.
“The decision was made based only on his tweets, but such allegations cannot be substantiated just by his tweets and personal opinions,” he said.
“There is no evidence of any crime committed linked to what he has said.”
Harijan said he would apply to the courts for a stay order on the government’s decision so Penner could remain in Nepal pending the appeal.
Penner has been working in Nepal for the technology outsourcing company CloudFactory for about four years.
He recently tweeted criticism of the country’s anti-corruption watchdog for its handling of the arrest of a Nepali magazine editor, who has since been freed.